International

Cuban Libraries Support Group

The Cuban Libraries Support Group (CLSG) has moved its website to a new location: http://libr.org/CLSG/. CLSG, established last year, exists to support Cuban liibraries, library workers and the Cuban Library Association. They promote cultural exchanges between Cuban librarians and librarians in other countries, and provide a record of some of these exchanges. The site has about a dozen articles and background information on Cuban libraries, the Cuban educational system, and the effect of the US blockade. It contains research debunking the claims of Robert Kent and his so called \"Friends of Cuban Libraries\" group, but CLSG mainly exists to support Cuban libraries and develop relationships with Cuban librarians. It\'s an interesting site. Makes me want to go to Cuba and visit some libraries.

National Library Week in the Czech Republic

This week is National Library Week in the Czech Republic.

Czech TodayIs Reporting on the status of the local library in The Czech Republic after the fall of the iron curtain. It seems that local library branches have not only survived, but seem to be gathering new readers. They even share the same problems most libraries have, the main one being people who forget to return the books they borrowed.The local library in Nove Straseci contacts the police and a policeman calls on the offender to deliver a polite reminder to return the book!

The WTO and Libraries

This is going in the international category, but it could actually affect us here at home.


Despite the protests in Seattle, most people still don\'t know what the WTO is or what it is doing. Far from working for free trade, the WTO primarily works for the deregulation and privatization of economic activity on a global scale. Already, hundreds of US laws have been overriden by WTO rules. As you may have heard, these are laws protecting health, the environment, and labor rights. But did you know that cultural services, like eduction and libraries, are also covered by WTO rules? It can be considered a \"trade barrier\" for a community to provide publically funded library service where an international company tries to offer a competing service on a for-profit basis (for example, electronic \"library\" services like e-books).


There was a program at this summer\'s ALA conference discussing the implications of the WTO for libraries. American Libraries gave it a brief writeup, with the facetious title, Are Libraries a barrier to free trade?


IFLA came out with a strong statement against these WTO rules before the Seattle meeting. The Canadian Library Association also released a strong anti-WTO statement. After the meeting, ALA followed suit, alerted by the Social Responsibilities Round Table.


Read on for the resolution approved by ALA Council. -- Read More

Report from US Librarians in Cuba

In March of this year, seventeen U.S. librarians, scholars and educators
participated in an 11-day educational tour of libraries, archives,
universities, and cultural and historical sites in Cuba. Organized by
Rhonda Neugebauer, the delegation traveled to five cities and held
discussions with Cuban librarians and informational professionals about
their work, philosophy, values, their perceptions of their role in society
and their obligation to provide access and delivery of information to their
patrons.

Here are the reports from Rhonda Neugebauer and Larry Oberg in a supplement to this week\'s Library Juice

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